Rotorua residents are being urged to attend public displays for Guy Fawkes this year as not only is it safer but they also "get more bang for your buck".

From today until Saturday, fireworks may be legally sold to the public; but it comes with a plea to use them safely.

Rotorua fire safety investigator Stuart Bootten said Guy Fawkes was a period where there were unnecessary fires and injuries.

"The fire service supports professionally-run public displays. We can end up with a huge loss of property, life-long scars from burns and, worst-case scenario, people can die.


"We were pretty lucky last year, we did have an increase in call-outs, but we were really lucky here and we want to keep it that way."

He said limiting the sale of fireworks to four days for people 18-and-over had certainly caused a drop in the number of firework-related incidents.

"The important things are that when we let off fireworks we do use the instructions, use a torch to read them, not a naked flame.

"Make sure you're in a wide open area where there's nothing you think can catch fire. Have a bucket of water and a hose handy and have something to stand the fireworks up on. Stay well back until they have expired and then put them in water."

He said alcohol and drugs should be avoided when lighting fireworks.

"Be careful around children, put any burns under water and get medical assistance straight away.

"Think about others, make sure you let your neighbours know if you are planning to let off fireworks, especially if they have pets. We don't want to see or hear of any horrific stories.

"We don't want to spoil anyone's fun but the public displays are where you get more bang for your buck," Mr Bootten said.

Senior Sergeant Malcolm Collins of the Bay of Plenty Police District Command Centre said it was important people thought of others before letting off fireworks.

"Take care and be considerate of the time, make sure you are aware of pets, alcohol and fireworks don't mix. At the end of the day they are explosive devices."

Mr Collins said the best idea was to go to a public display, which could work out to be cheaper.

The Rotorua Stock Car Club will be holding its annual Guy Fawkes fireworks show on Friday at 7pm.

Club secretary Sonja Hickey said people should go and enjoy the fireworks as well as the racing.

"It's a really good, safe display for the whole family and you can enjoy the races or leave after the fireworks," she said.

Tickets are $55 for a family (two adults and up to four children), $25 per adult and $10 per child.

Top tips to keep pets safe this Guy Fawkes

1) Take them for a long walk earlier in the evening to tire them out

2) Feed them before the fireworks start. A full stomach makes them sleepy and can help them relax.

3) Keep your pets inside with their bed and favourite toys ready, and the curtains closed. Ensure the bed is in an area that's least exposed to noise and light.

4) Turn on music or the TV to disguise external noise.

5) For small pets or birds, partially cover their cages or enclosures with a blanket.
Source - Jonathan Robinson, a vet affiliated to Animates